The Little Optimist Trust was established by Greg Bertish and is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation and an NPO.

In 2001, at the age of 30, Greg was infected with a rare tropical bacterium. In April 2016 he sailed an 8- foot children’s dinghy around the Cape of Storms, his 200km journey matching the 200 days he spent in hospital fighting the life-threatening heart infection. He raised R300 000 for the new ICU at the Red Cross War Memorial Hospital, and later went on to raise a further One million Rand to paint and renovate it.

Greg is the founder and Chairman of the internationally acclaimed Sharkspotter Programme and is an ambassador for the National Sea Rescue Institute. In 2017 he founded the Little Optimist Children’s Trust, which inspires kids to SURVIVE and THRIVE.

Through the power of optimism, The Little Optimist Trust inspires marginalized children in South Africa to SURVIVE and THRIVE!

We achieve this by fostering a growth mindset and developing resilience in children


  • Sharing the teachings of The Little Optimist
  • Sharing the personal experiences of real-life Little Optimists
  • Through sailing therapy
  • Through beautifying their places of healing and education

To learn more about the life changing work of The Little Optimist Trust, visit